Business Analyst Careers

How do fancy a career that allows you to be the hero in securing the success of any business you work with? That’s what you can be doing when you become a business analyst.

It’s a job that’s full of satisfaction if you can do the job to a high standard. Get things wrong, and you’ve a lot on your plate when a business fails because of the misinformed advice you gave them.

Become a Business Analyst

As a business analyst, at least in the role of a functional BA, you’d be responsible for analysing the smaller aspects of a business, as well as foresee the bigger picture, and create a business plan to help any business reach their company objectives.

Within the microelements of the job, you’d be analysing everything including:

The staff turnover

You may have to advise clients on how to better structure the workplace to improve efficiency, and manage stress effectively.

Staff training

Every business needs their staff to be at the top of their game. As an analyst, it’s your job to identify the weaknesses in staff personnel, and work with clients to ensure that the areas lacking are identified. You’ll also be suggesting appropriate training to help the business function more effectively.

The number crunching

As far as the sales figures go, some businesses get things wrong and focus purely on driving the sales volume up. As a BA, in this type of situation, you’d need to crunch the numbers and identify sales patterns, what caused some number spikes, either upwards or downwards, and communicate with your client on the successful marketing areas, and the ones that costing the business dearly.

The macro elements are where you’ll need to get creative though.

Industry analysis

Part of the work you do with your clients will need you to thoroughly analyse the position of the company you’re working with. You’ll need to research other business, the models they’re using to boost their business, and position themselves as market leaders in the industry.

Your job is going to be help your clients get to a position where they’re marketing puts them up there with the best of the businesses in their markets. Hopefully it will lead you clients to out shadow competitors by implementing the suggestions you make, to boost the business.

By looking at the bigger picture from the outside, you can come into a business and basically rip it apart, by spotting the weaknesses that’s driving the organisation down.

To do that you’ll need an excellent knack for communication. There are ways to word constructive criticism, without your clients taking offense. Sometimes harsh and brutal honesty is the best way you can do this role. The stronger you can communicate, the more successful you’ll be.

Through your creative input, you can really push a business to the brink of success and tower them far above their competitors.

That’s job satisfaction, and the more successful you can do it, the more in demand you’ll become.

That’s only touching on what you could do when you become a business analyst. There’s actually an additional three types of BA you could work as.

Business Consulting Analyst

The business consulting analyst isn’t always about the software used in a business. That will be a major part of your job. Spotting areas that can be improved with the use of modern technology.

However, the more important thing you’ll be able to do in this field of work, is modelling a business. That will require some strategic manoeuvres on your part.

You’ll be creating a business strategy that can include:

  • Detailing the value a business has to offer to the marketplace
  • Economic factors that could be affecting the business, and creative ways around the economic problems
  • Social awareness to boost the marketing of a business plan
  • Factoring in cultural differences to improve the effectiveness in the workplace

Business consulting and strategy implementation is a high paying field for the right individual. It does come with a highly demanding job role though.

Academic Analyst

The academic analyst is probably going to be your exit job for a BA career.

The more on the field experience you have, the more knowledgeable you’ll be on what’s current in the marketplace. The business practices that are effective, the best strategies to implement, as well as what drives the economy and therefore boosts business revenue.

With that knowledge, you can become an academic analyst, teaching others the job in training, or perhaps run your own business seminars to help a wide range of businesses, while cutting back on your workload.

Software Business Analyst

The software analyst is more in use today than the consulting BA. That’s because of the vast amount of software that’s used to boost the productivity in any business.

Common software programs to be knowledgeable in are:

  • Oracle 9i
  • Oracle 9iAS
  • Oracle Portal
  • StorageTech
  • Sandisk
  • SAP Solutions
  • Websphere
  • Essbase
  • Plus any or all Microsoft programs

Business for a software analyst is diverse. The industry is constantly changing. Therefore, businesses require specialists on the particular software their company is using.

To become a software business analyst, you’ll need to become a specialist in one or more software applications. Your specialism will get you hired. Go too broad, and you could be missing the speciality factor that gains you employment.

If you want to work in this field, make sure you’re knowledge is top class in the fields you’re enthusiastic about working on.

Business Analyst Training

The training you do to gain certification and become a business analyst isn’t usually something you can start your career with. Due to the wide diversity of duties a business analyst will do, you are going need to show excellent skills and industry relevant qualifications to break into this profession.

The training isn’t exclusive to a BA career. It’s industry specific as there’s different areas you can be working in.

Business Analyst Training

You could be a BA specialising in the finance field, working with insurance companies. Or you could be a business analyst in the manufacturing sector, working with factories, assisting them to produce their merchandise cost effectively with maximum returns to their business.

As a business analyst, it’s preferred you have industry knowledge before you proceed to the analysis role.

In order to proceed, you need the credentials and the skills to get the job done.

To gain entry into the profession, it’ going to be as a junior business analyst when you first start out. These are graduate jobs and as such, you will need to be educated to a degree level.

The degrees you have will be a big part in the type of business analysis jobs you undertake.

A degree in financial management will be required to analyse the business of any financial organisation. If on the other hand you hold a degree in computer science, you’d be more suited to IT systems analysis, rather than analysing the overall structure and performance of a business.

Therefore, the degrees you study for the field you choose to work in, will dictate the sector that you become a business analyst within.

Becoming a certified business analyst

Once you’ve gained your degree to get any type of graduate job, you’ll then go out and use that to start your career.

To become a business analyst, it’s usually preferred that you have around 10 years of industry experience. This ensures that you’re knowledgeable on the business model your clients have, setting you up as the expert, in a position to be offering business advice to your clients.

Becoming certified in business analysis can take some time. However, as it’s related to career progression and not a typical direct career you can walk into, fresh out of university, you can do this through distance learning. That lets you do your training in your own time, whilst you’re in employment.

Any business analysis training course you undertake should be accredited by the BCS. That’s The Chartered Institute for IT. Employers recognise courses that are BSC accredited nationally. This ensures that your qualifications are going to serve your career good, and not be a waste of your time.

There’s not a great deal of BA courses, but the ones there are, do offer great potential in getting you recognised in this high flying line of work. It’s the industry recognition that will raise your salary expectations.

To gain the best certification, there’s only a couple of professional bodies that can offer you the best training to succeed, and be recognised.

The first one, mentioned earlier is the BSC.

The Chartered Institute for IT.

The other main professional body is the IIBA.

The “International Institute of Business Analysis”

Any business analysis certification, accredited by the IIBA is recognised globally.

The BCS can offer you national recognised certificates and range from foundation training in business analysis, all the way through to gaining a Diploma in Business Analysis. There are other training courses available, for you to progress your career. This offers you continual career development opportunities.

Such BCS accredited courses for progression can include:

  • Certificate in Data Management
  • Certificate in Business Analysis Practice
  • Certificate in Benefits Management and Business Acceptance

You can even gain certification in business the Requirements Engineering. That can help you train in the following areas:

  • Eliciting
  • Analysing
  • Validating
  • Documenting and managing requirements

A certificate in Requirements Engineering can also help count towards you gaining an International Diploma in Business Analysis.

IIBA certification courses

The International Institute of Business Analysis is recognised around the globe for two fundamental courses, designed, and continually improved to show the highest professional standards of a business analyst.

There are two certificates rudimentary to the profession. These are the:

1.Certification of Competency in Business AnalysisTM (CCBA®)

2.Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®)

The IIBA is an optional professional membership for business analysts to join and participate in community discussions and keep their knowledge and training updated.

It can be beneficial but it isn’t necessary to become a business analyst. It’s similar to other professions with industry bodies. An optional career development membership that lets professionals collaborate together and stay up to date on the latest developments in their profession.

Before you get to that stage, you’ll first need an industry related degree, then progress to a BCS accredited certification course.

That will help you get into a graduate job as a junior business analyst.

From there, you can further your training with the IIBA by gaining your Certification of Competency in Business AnalysisTM (CCBA®).

The final BA Training course for global recognition is the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) course.

Business Analysis Jobs

When you become a business analyst, you’re going to have a few things going for you. That’s going to give you plenty of job opportunities. You’ll have a degree specific to the industry you’re working in. That can be finance, construction, manufacturing, computer sciences, or construction. Whichever field you have an interest in progressing your career within. Your first degree gets you entry into your chosen profession.

Business Analyst Jobs

With experience under your belt, you’ll then progress into further training, giving you certification in some form of business analysis.

Your training can then be furthered with the IIBA, and then you can shift your focus from progressing your first career of choice, onto transitioning into a new career as business analyst.

When you do that you can find business analyst jobs in a half dozen fields

1.Business Requirements Analyst

As a business requirements analyst you’d be responsible for assisting businesses to meet their company objectives.

That can include getting involved in all areas of the functions of a business.

That covers a variety of areas, some of which include:

  • Cost analysis
  • Systems analysis
  • Reviewing the processes a business is using
  • Advising and/or implementing new technology
  • Advising on staff training requirements
  • Suggesting modifications

The objective you’d have as a business requirements analysis would be to work with existing businesses, to help them improve how they conduct their business. The results you achieve for the business should increase their efficiency in costs and operations, through any or all of the above methods.

2.Business Systems Analyst

A business systems analyst will be well versed in Information Technologies. You’ll be skilled and knowledgeable on the different IT solutions that help businesses meet their objectives.

Under this role, your main objectives are going to be utilising your technological knowledge to implement technology infrastructures. These will work to increase the cost and production efficiency of the business you work with.

3.Systems Analyst

To become a business systems analysis, it is advantageous to have specialist knowledge of one or more areas of Information Technology, and other programming knowledge.

As the job title suggests, a systems analyst pertains to analysing the systems in place. Degrees in computer science, work experience, combined with specialist knowledge of the software applications are what will help you progress into this career.

You will need a degree in Information Systems for this line of work.

4.Functional Analyst

As a functional business analyst, you’d be skilled in the use of specific information systems. The work you do in this role will be utilising your expertise in a specialist type of system. That could be using something like Oracle applications to analyse a business. You’d also be advising and implementing the best systems to help businesses meet their objective.

Some of the systems can be off the shelf in this career, so coding isn’t something you need to know about. You only need to know all the ins and outs of using the software. The understanding of the applications is what will help you utilise the tools you have, to help a business meet their company objectives.

Most functional business analyst jobs will be industry related in fields such as finance, HR etc. In essence, you’d be an expert in your subject matter.

5.Service Request Analyst

A service request analyst is going to be a specialist in a particular application. Their analytic skills will help them identify areas of business systems that could be improved on to meet business requirements. This will also transfer onto the front end, by adapting systems to be fully user-friendly.

The service request systems will be needed for computing requests sent to the information systems being used.

This could be anything from contact information, sales data, order processing, to computing different formulations, depending on the business requirements.

6.Agile Analyst

The agile analyst is the person that’s going to be in constant contact with the business owners. Strong communication skills will be required, as you will be working with different teams throughout the analysis of a business.

Working with IT departments, operational managers as well as identifying weaknesses in a company’s personnel, all form part of the job.

This job brings in personal analysis as well as systems analysis. It’s a challenging job, but it is a job role that could breathe a breath of fresh air into a business, at the very moment it may need it.

An agile analyst could be seen as a lifesaver to the struggling business owner. By going into business, scrutinising the systems, and their core operation, you can bring a much-valued fresh perspective that will change the way a business works.

Taking it from being non-productive, perhaps even operating to a loss, to a bringing its financial outlook up to a state of profitability.

This line of work will require you to have a wide variety of work experience, as well as a degree in information systems. It’s also beneficial to have a certification in business administration or something closely related to the business field. Your training in IT solutions, combined with management, will qualify you to become an agile business analyst.

One thing’s for sure and that’s that when you have the right training, with the skills needed to become a business analyst, you’ll be in a lucrative career, in demand, with job security.